Srinagar, Jun 5 : National Conference (NC) on Friday alleged that while the government allowed Gujjar and Bakarwal community to embark on their annual transmigration, ‘nothing substantial’ has been done to ensure their safety in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
“In a uncanny manner the authorities tried to evade its responsibility by allowing the migratory tribes to motion towards Kashmir without giving a thought to the challenges that the global pandemic has thrown at us,” NC leaders said in a joint statement issued here on Friday.
The NC leaders expressed concern over ‘the plethora of problems the tribal people are facing’ in the wake of lockdown and COVID-19 crises. “Feeling scared and left out, the tribals have been left to their own fate. No substantial medical facility and other supplementary arrangements have been put in place to assuage the miseries the tribals and their livestock is going through during these trying times,” the statement said.
The NC leaders said that these people embarked on a journey covering hundreds of kilometers to preserve their cattle, which is their source of livelihood. “Of the lakhs of Gujjar Bakarwals in J&K, at least 15 lakh begin to migrate by the end of April,” they said. “Unconcerned about the hardships, authorities have failed to provide required medical staff, and other sanitary kits to the migratory tribes, wherever they have put up in the higher reaches of Kashmir division.
No efforts have been taken by the authorities of the divisional administration of Jammu and Kashmir on the smooth supply of ration and other edibles to these people,” the NC leaders said. “We have been told that the tribes were not allowed to bring their milch animals with them.
The age-old procedures of seeking permission have changed; they’re not being allowed to take milch animals, cows and buffaloes with them, thus adding to their worries about supply of food security over a to-and-fro expedition that will last for months all together,” the statement alleged. The NC leader alleged that since 2015 the industrious and peace loving community of Gujjars, and Bakarwals have been facing marginalization in Jammu and Kashmir, adding the ‘administration cannot shut its eyes to their woes’. “These people contribute to the GDP of our economy in countless ways.
Unfortunately there has been no let up in their problems; the successive governments since 2015, and the incumbent administration has let them down,” they added. The NC leaders urged the administration to provide all necessary facilities to the tribes along migratory track and meadows. “Medics should immediately be rushed to the spots where these people are putting up. Besides that proper testing facility, sanitary kits should also be provided to them to help them ward off the COVID-19 threat.